Visit our strategy website
Our values

The values describe our defining characteristics – what makes Exeter different.

Our strategies

Our vision is to make the exceptional happen by challenging traditional thinking and defying conventional boundaries.

Our Strategy, Making the exceptional happen 2016 - 2021, establishes how we will work towards achieving our vision from 2016 to 2020 and lays the foundation for our future success which will take us to our 100th anniversary in 2055.

We will achieve our vision by:

  • Building research power to solve global challenges;
  • Delivering internationally excellent education;
  • Creating impact regionally, nationally and globally;
  • Supporting our people to make the exceptional happen:
  • Making the most of our resources.

» Visit our Strategy website to find out more

Supporting strategies

To support the achievement of our strategy we have a series of key supporting strategies, known as our sovereign strategies.

These strategies lead and direct our core activities to achieve our mission.

Research and Impact Strategy 2015 - 2020

Building upon Exeter’s success in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014), this strategy aims to increase our research volume and quality across our disciplines. It sets out how we will enhance our research environment, facilitate interdisciplinary research and strengthen our approach to impact and partnership. Key initiatives as part of the strategy are the Global Vision 2050 Project and establishing both the Global Systems Institute and the Institute for Advanced Study. 

Education Strategy 2014 – 2020

The Education Strategy details how we will deliver an internationally exceptional educational experience for all our students that equips them to make a positive difference in the world. This is delivered through six overarching aims that include the provision of research-inspired learning, development of employability, empowered and engaged learners and multi-disciplinary learning.

International Strategy 2015 - 2020

The International Strategy is designed to embed international activities and perspectives into our education, our research and impact and our culture. The overarching aim of the strategy is to raise Exeter’s international reputation and achieve a sustainable Global 100 ranking in international league tables.  

Capital Strategy 2016 - 2021

The University’s Capital Strategy is currently being finalised and will provide the principles of investment and governance in our infrastructure for the period 2016/17 – 2020/21. The strategy will set out the capital programme of work to be undertaken in this period. The Capital Strategy will be supported by an Estates Strategy that details our physical space requirements, risks and opportunities.

Cornwall Strategy 2014 - 2020

The Cornwall Strategy informs our Cornwall activities to help achieve the University’s overall aspirations. The strategy gives particular consideration to the context of our operation in Cornwall and how to utilise this to produce innovations in pedagogy, and in the delivery of services to staff and students. 

Regional Skills Strategy

The Regional Skills Strategy is being produced in recognition of the important role that the University plays in the local economies of Devon and Cornwall. The strategy will include the University’s approach to widening participation in the region, degree apprenticeships to support strategically important sectors, graduate employability opportunities in the region, student entrepreneurship and continuing professional development.

We have a wide range of enablingstrategies which cover College and Professional Services provision to ensure that we have the right conditions in place to achieve our aims.

Our enabling strategies include:

People Strategy: Attract, Perform, Retain

A new People Strategy is in development to support our strategic goals and provide a platform for competitive advantage under the key areas of attract, perform and retain. The strategy will empower the University to attract the best talent, develop our people and continue to improve HR operational services in a simple, effective and customer focussed delivery model.


The University has a range of strategies and policies in place to support our environmental sustainability. Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy, Water Strategy and Carbon Management Plan outline the University’s environmental objectives.

Humanities and Social Science Strategy

Our Humanities and Social Science (HASS) strategy builds on our research excellence to combine six interdisciplinary themes that are academic challenging and innovative. They are all priority research areas where Exeter can demonstrate world-leading excellence. The themes also address major global challenges and map well into the priorities of major UK and international funding bodies.

Arts and Culture Strategy

The Arts & Culture Strategy was first established in 2008 and is being revised in 2016/17. The strategy aims to enable the University become a cultural hub and focal point for Devon and Cornwall, with reverberations beyond for its national and international reputation and student and staff bodies.